…And so begins my Elizabeth Taylor marathon. As I write this post, I skillfully positioned my instant streaming Netflix window in the lower corner of my Macbook as to watch Ms. Taylor in "Cleopatra." Some might say, "no no, start from the beginning," I say to hell with them. I want to start off with something big & epic… and it also happened to pop up first on Netflix. Regardless, RIP Elizabeth T.
It's also nice that such a fancy recipe corresponds to such an opulent movie. But shhh, I'm going to let you in on a little secret… these cheese puffs, ahem Gougères, aren't hard to make at all. While it certainly helps if you have a piping bag, you can easily use a sturdy ziplock.
You say you don't have fancy cheese? Pish posh - I ran to Trader Joe's, stood scared in front of the cheese wall and asked an employee who looked mildly worldly his recommendations. Gruyere? Sounds good. Good Parmesan? Already got some in the fridge. No excuses.
Even once I got to the party (yes, this is yet another Superbowl recipe) the comments wouldn't stop flowing in about how they couldn't believe I made from scratch cheese puffs or that they were a nice contrast to the usual Superbowl fare. Even though football season is over (and might continue to be for a year plus), it is officially soccer season (Go Sounders!). Why not make these for your next soccer, erm football (as this IS French food), party?
Adapted from Barefoot in Paris Cookbook
- 1 cup milk (I used almond milk)
- ¼ lb (1 stick) unsalted butter
- 1 TSP kosher salt
- 1/8 TSP freshly ground black pepper
- Pinch of nutmeg
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 4 extra-large eggs
- ½ cup grated Gruyere cheese. Plus more for sprinkling
- ¼ cup Parmesan cheese
- 1 egg beaten with 1 TSP water, for egg wash
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- In a medium saucepan, heat milk, butter, salt, pepper and nutmeg over medium heat, until scalded. Add the flour all at once and beat it vigorously with a wooden spoon until mixture comes together. Cook, stirring constantly, over low heat for 2 minutes. The flour will begin to coat the bottom of the pan. Dump the mixture, while hot, into the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Immediately add eggs, Gruyere and Parmesan and pulse until the eggs are incorporated and the dough is smooth and thick.
- Spoon the mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a large plain round tip. Pipe in mounds 1 ¼ inches with and ¾ inch high onto the baking sheets.
- With a wet finger, lightly press down on the swirl at the top of each puff. Brush the top of each puff lightly with egg wash and sprinkle with a pinch of Gruyere. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown outside but still soft inside.